Gumtree Boosts Conversion Rates and Drives 44% Email Click Uplift

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With inboxes getting more crowded by the day, even the UK’s #1 classified ads site needs to do more than keep a finger on the pulse of its CRM strategy. As the fight for the world’s digital attention span grows fiercer with each email campaign send, Gumtree was looking for a solution to solve its open rate decline.


A key member of the vaunted eBay Group since 2005, Gumtree has successfully brought online classified ads to the masses, helping grow the world’s thriving online retail marketplace since the company’s founding in March 2000. 

Subject line effectiveness decay had led to Gumtree’s subject line copy gradually losing its ability to garner the opens, clicks, and ROI required. Despite making a concerted effort to manage the problem in-house, email marketing engagement numbers have on occasion impacted Gumtree’s growth. 

Gumtree’s CRM Manager, Ed Lye, knew the problem centered on open rates. “The problem we needed to solve was that our open rates were really poor, and had been declining regularly. We needed to bring something in to get our clients to actually open our emails.”  

Head of CRM and Social, Matt Button, agreed: “Open rates were not really growing at the rate we wanted them to grow. I could see it was quite an acute problem, and that we had to do a lot to revitalize our whole CRM strategy.” 


Enter Phrasee. Put simply, Phrasee’s AI-powered content results in better email marketing language than humans can write. Part of that includes powerful machine learning algorithms that learn what works, and what doesn’t, to optimize future messaging. It’s a fast fix for email campaign performance, delivering more clicks, opens, and conversions almost instantly. Yet, in learning over time, it also improves on ROI in the long run. It’s a win-win situation. 

“We don’t need to know how it works. We just know that it works for us. I think it’s magic.”
Ed Lye – CRM Manager, Gumtree

As an added benefit, Phrasee’s AI-powered content was easy to implement, aligning with Gumtree’s existing marketing technology, Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Phrasee’s Salesforce AppExchange app provides a streamlined integration with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud for creating and sending split tests using Phrasee-generated subject lines. Phrasee users can install the app and get started using their existing account details. The app automates the process of setting up the email sends for a split test, scheduling the test sends and monitoring results to determine a test winner. Results are then auto-fed back into Phrasee for ongoing learning. 


Gumtree results

And the results? Gumtree’s subject lines are back on track. Lye says that the results speak for themselves: “To date, we’ve had a 35% increase in opens, sometimes even going up to 50%.” 

As the team at Gumtree knows all too well, recycling and repurposing something old can breathe new life into it. But sometimes, getting the job done right means looking for something new, and Phrasee is ahead of the game in delivering a marketing solution that is cutting edge. 

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